Amritsar, January 28
Candid as he as always, Javed Akhtar, famous poet, lyricist and writer, who written uncountable songs in his over 35-year long career as a lyricist, expressed his disappointment over the lack of songs in today’s films. Akhtar, who has penned down memorable songs Yeh Kahan Agaye Hum (Silsila), Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (1942 — A love story) and many more, said lack of songs is a loss for cinema, “Songs, if they were not connected to the story, were connected to the audience, their emotional recollection. They were force of Indian cinema,” he said to an enthusiastic audience, that has turned up to hear him talk in a session by FICCI FLO chapter. He also launched book, Talking Life, by Nasreen Munni Kabir, in which Javed Akhtar talks about life, poetry, films and everything else with noted documentarian and biographer, Kabir. The book gives a refreshingly honest take on Javed Akhtar’s life, from his early childhood to his career as a poet and later, in hindi films. He also talks about his life, including his encounters with noted poets Faiz Ahmed Faiz and his struggles.
A deep relationship
Language, I believe is of region, not any religion. Urdu found its origins in Hindustan, Punjab being one of the main regional epicenters. Its not a foreign language, Punjab’s relationship with Urdu is deep and all big writers and litterateur in Punjab wrote in Urdu.Rs — Javed Akhtar
Recently, the world witnessed the camaraderie between Javed Akhtar and Gulzar in a viral video, showing the conversation between the two at an event. Akhtar said they have always been friends, contrary to the popular perception. “People like to make assumptions and then believe them. So, we being rivals because we both worked in the same industry, was a popular assumption. But we share warmth and friendship that dates back to four decades,” he said.
Since in Punjab, Akhtar also shared his failure to understand why Punjabis are losing Urdu, a cultural heritage of the region. “Language, I believe is of region, not any religion. Urdu found its origins in Hindustan, Punjab being one of the main regional epicenters. Its not a foreign language, Punjab’s relationship with Urdu is deep and all big writers and names of literature pre and post partition in Punjab wrote in Urdu. The partition and politics of two nation theory destroyed Urdu. So, I urge Punjabis to preserve it, re-introduce the younger generation with the language.” He said Urdu, by origins, was an anti-fundamentalist language and so its association with any religion or community is not correct.
Akhtar, who was in conversation with FICCI FLO chairperson, Shikha Sareen and member Tanya Khanna, also shared how he felt about his wife actor Shabana Azmi. “She is a perfectionist and it has been an honour to live my life with an intelligent, empowered woman. But its not been easy,” he said, generating some applaud and laughter. He continued to give advice to young men, making them future ready. “Love without mutual respect is false and mutual respect without empowerment is also false.”